Hotels.ng; the largest hotel booking website in Nigeria has reported that it has just raised an additional $1.2m from Omidyar Network and EchoVC Pan African Fund and this could mean that the company is now valued at about $4m. This comes at a time when the start-up plans to expand into other African countries like Ghana. Mark Essien who is the Hotels.ng founder made this known in a statement. “This additional capital will allow us to realize the next stage in our ambitious growth plans, which will see us consolidate our position as Nigeria’s market leader in online hotel bookings, with a view to expanding our service into other African markets, such as Ghana,”
There’s a little over 10,000 hotels in Nigeria and Hotels.ng has about 7,000 of those hotels in its directory. According to AFK insider, It is estimated that Nigerians travelling within Nigeria spend at least $2 billion every year on hotel accommodation. Hotels.ng targets this growing market and currently process over 400 bookings daily.
Despite the growth of online hotel booking sites, many Nigerians still use time-consuming booking agencies or book a hotel face-to-face on arrival due to low internet penetration of just 16 percent and poor credit card uptake in a country of over 170 million people.
This however is likely to change over the next decade if internet access in Nigeria grows to 50 percent by 2025 as predicted.
Start-ups across Nigeria have witnessed growth and tremendous ability to raise funds from outside Nigeria. Konga.com raised about $40m last year to expand its engineering division.
There’s currently a dearth of venture capitalists in Nigerian and this vacuum has been largely filled by foreign funders who are able to identify the market potentials of the biggest economy in Africa.